The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today expressed its dismay at the United States’ criticism of Israel’s counter-terrorism efforts. Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs, said, “We are dismayed by the U.S. State Department’s criticism of Israel’s steps against those responsible for directing, planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against the Israeli people.
Israel has an obligation to protect its citizens from terrorist bombings, drive-by shootings, and all manner of terrorist attacks that target innocent Israelis. Israel has exercised tremendous restraint in the face of more than 7,000 terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israeli citizens by the Palestinians in the last ten months. Not a day goes by without Israelis experiencing violent attacks on the part of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and Arafat-aligned groups including the Tanzim and Force 17. The United States cannot expect the Israeli government to stand idly by while the Palestinian Authority refuses to comply with the agreements that they signed and put an end to the violence they are cynically using as a tool with which to achieve political gains.
America must place the onus for Middle East violence on Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority where it squarely belongs and not criticize the Israeli government’s response to attacks on its citizens.”